” … mostly I’ve been an impatient patient; patience is not my superpower. “
Superpower electronic beats mural by Martin Bender in Ehrenfeld Cologne –
photo by howlzap Cologne

Bladder cancer has given me opportunity to practice being a more patient patient and to let recovery take its natural course. However, mostly I’ve been an impatient patient; patience is not my superpower. I always expect to be further along than I am and thus create pressure on myself and unnecessary stress.

After the first turbt I was convinced I’d bounce back quickly and wanted to return to work as soon as possible. With hindsight it was certainly too soon, I should have stayed at home between those first two operations that were only a few weeks apart.

Slowly with each operation and then the chemo treatment I surrendered what I expected to happen to what was actually happening and gave myself a big break. Meditation helped as it usually does.

Meditation helps with:

  • noticing how I really feel physically and emotionally
  • letting go of stressing about what I can’t change
  • focusing on breathing into areas that need it most
  • trusting that my body can heal itself (after surgery or treatment)
  • accepting that things are often different to how I want them to be
  • knowing that everything is going to be ok

Now after 9 operations and 34 chemo instillations I am slowly getting the message. Fatigue takes its time to clear and recovery isn’t linear. I’ve learned:

  • not to say too soon when I’ll be back at work, neither to my boss or myself
  • not to expect to be able to keep any social or work appointments until I’m fit again

My schedule is cleared so I can concentrate on getting better.  It seems to take three to five weeks after an operation and 5 days after chemo. So, if you’re recovering from something give yourself some time to sleep and heal without stress. Real life comes back soon enough and requires all the energy we can muster.